LETTER TO CHRISTIAN STUDENTS
TWO past issues touched on the topics of how to read and where to find things to read. What if you hate reading? What alternatives are there?
First of all, it is important to note that God gave us a Bible to read. He might have chosen pictures or icons or moving pictures but He chose a collection of books. That ought to suggest that we must read.
Reading is needed not just for us to be able to engage with society but also to obtain the intellectual ammunition to come to grips with the matter at hand.
The importance of literacy can be seen in that one of the first few things that missionaries do in a new country is to set up schools. If one is unable to read, e.g. due to illiteracy or sight problems, then investing in audio books is a worthy one.
Second, that said, there are other resources to supplement your reading. There are other excellent multi-media resources that one could turn to.
It used to be that Christian video resources seemed more easily available. I remember that my youth group leader used to rent Christian videos from Great Joy Media in Singapore to screen for youth group meetings. They were great!
I still remember one particular video – “If I Perish” – which was about a Korean girl defying the Japanese during World War II. Student Venture, part of Campus Crusade, in Singapore used to have a film festival where it would show the Jesus Film, which has become the hallmark of Campus Crusade for Christ, like their “4 Spiritual Laws” and “Hell’s Bells”, which looks at the dangers of rock music. My friends used to play Veggie Tales, a Christian video targeted at children, on their laptops at the National University of Singapore to encourage conversations!
Again, the main source of Christian videos and DVDs is in the United States. I admit that I have not investigated fully the sources of Christian videos and DVDs. However, it should be possible to look up various Christian ministries that you are familiar with to see what multi-media resources they have available.
There are also other multi-media titles on more serious issues, such as science and Christianity, e.g. Icons of Evolution, Unlocking the Mysteries of life. They should be available from the Discovery Institute or just a search on Google.
While many of the resources above are excellent, they should not displace your reading habit.
Goh Mui Pong, a member of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church, is pursuing his PhD in Politics at the University of Cambridge.